The World Health Organization (WHO) urged African nations to strengthen their national food safety systems in order to improve the health of its citizens.
WHO Representative in Kenya Rudi Eggers on Monday (16 January 2017) told a regional food safety conference in Nairobi that while countries in the region are at various stages of strengthening their food safety system, much remains to be done.
‘The development of regulations and standards is a way of improving food safety and nutrition,’ Eggers said.
According to a WHO study released in 2015, the African region has the highest burden of food-borne diseases with more than 91 million people falling ill and another 137,000 dying in 2015.
Eggers said the strengthening of national food safety systems is a concern for the region as well as a priority for the WHO. He added that protecting human health in today’s global food market is therefore an important challenge.
‘The strengthening of food safety systems should be supported by capacity building and education in order to contribute to a comprehensive framework to address public health issues as well as facilitate trade in healthy and safe food,’ he noted.